Sunday, July 19, 2009

If You Don't Believe Me...

We threw a baby shower the other day for my little cousin Justin and his sweet wife Amanda. It's hard to believe the little boy I once babysat is expecting a baby the same year I am! Time flies.

The picture below is posted for a few reasons. Reason number one: Justin and Amanda, we love y'all and can't wait to meet our new little family member (she was actually having contractions at the shower!). The next reason this picture is posted is to illustrate our family baby boom. My grandparents are getting 5 great grandchildren in the next few months (my step sister is not in the pregnant picture. She just had her baby a month ago). Three of the new babies are Mom and Doug's grandchildren. Also pictured is Amanda's sister who is pregnant and Justin's best friend's wife.

We are standing in order of our due dates. Amanda is due now, my sister Dawn is September, and Amanda's sister just after Dawn. Then we move to my cousin Angie who is 20 weeks pregnant with her 2nd child. Apparently she left her baby bump at home;) The next young lady is 15 weeks pregnant. We will give her a little slack for not showing much because this is her first child. And then there is me. In this picture I am 13 weeks pregnant. Yup, a mere 3 months prenant and 1 day out of the first trimester. Yet, I am the one who looks 20 weeks pregnant.

So, this picture is posted because so many of you thought I was exaggerating about my vulumptuous figure. Pretty funny hugh? From now on, just call me Big Momma!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My True Color is Shining Through

While at my mom's the other day I picked up one of her gluten-free magazines to browse through. I noticed Elisabeth Hasselback was on the cover and I flipped to the article she was featured in. The story of her digestive troubles and eventual triumph over them (by eliminating gluten of course) were discussed at length. All of which I found interesting.

And then a personal note was added that she is expecting her third child this August. Immediately I remembered my mom commenting that she was pregnant with her first while I was pregnant with Savannah (I don't watch The View but my mom does). And I remembered my mom mentioning some time later that she had had another baby. So, this was to be her 3rd and her oldest is 4.

Surprised at how close together her children are (compared to my game plan since we both started at the same time) I said, "Oh, my gosh. She is pregnant with her third and it's going to be born next month? Her oldest is the same age as Savannah! Man she is having her kids close together. That's crazy."

My mom sarcastically replied, "Really? You think that's crazy. Hmmm, who would do that?"

"Yeah. Savannah will be almost 5 by the time our second is born. Her oldest is 4 1/2 and she is already on her third!"

I didn't get it at first and then my sister who was sitting right beside me busted out laughing.

For those of you who don't know she is about to have her third baby as well and her oldest turned 3 today! That means she has a barely 3 year old, 20 month old, and soon a newborn.

Truly my most blond moment ever. At least it gave everyone in the room a good laugh!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mother's Day 2009 in Aspen

The train portion of our trip ended in Aspen where we celbrated Mother's Day with Bruch at The Aspen Meadows. From the pictures below, it looks like Switzerland to me!

Little Burton really wanted to make it up the hill with the big girls.

Granny Smiles, Ella, and Savannah.

Four generations.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Next Leg

Back on the train with full bellies, we took advantage of the fact that no one had to take turns driving, and we all rested while enjoying the scenery go by. Scenery such at this, this Mighty Mississippi.

This time we did not share a sleeping compartment with my Dad. Savannah and I had our own roomette across the hall from my Dad.

After a rest it was time for a sunset dinner. Between the rainbows and sunsets, it was hard to focus on the food. But as I have said before, it was suprisingly good.

The next day our stop in Denver brought us suprises for Savannah. My sister, her husband and 2 children and my grandparents met us at the train station. The rode the last leg of the trip with us into Glendwood Springs.

We spent most of our time in the viewing car so we could all ahnd out together. The views of the mountains weren't 1/2 bad either! The kids loved the fact that we went through about 20 tunnels in just a few hours.

Here are the cousins in the viewing car happy to be together.

Ella hung out for a bit with us in our compartment. The girls thought it was pretty cool that they got to hang out in there together by themselves (I was 2 feet across the hall with my Dad in his. I could literally reach out and touch them from his compartment. But I don't think they realized that.)

The Last Of Chicago

Our time in Chicago was coming to an end.

Savannah walked all over that city and at the end her legs finally tuckered out. Luckily Grandpa was there to give her a hand.

But our trip would not be complete without partaking of the world famous Chicago pizza. So, we popped into Giordano's before the jaunt back to the train station.

Although I love NYC pizza, I also have an appreciation for Chicago pizza. Neither one are a disappointment. Instead, both are unique and separate entities not to be compared.

Savannah, being a connoisseur of all things Italian, thought it was awesome.

We could have easily stayed and explored the city longer. Chicago is an amusement park of attractions for both kids and adults. I HIGHLY recommend taking a trip to your local train station and hopping on AMTRAK (kids are 1/2 price!) for a long weekend in the Windy City. You won't be disappointed with the ride or the destination.

Now for the next leg of our journey...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Inside The Field

Savannah had the most fun in the children's portion of the museum. Here she got a taste of Native American life by first learning that about the crops they grew and picking the corn.

Next she took it into the life size pueblo where where children could grind the corn for tortillas or store it in a damp, dark area built into the wall.

Here Savannah is bringing more crops in from the field.

Now she is cooking it.

In this part of the pueblo they explained how the baskets are made and then you put the lego type pieces together smallest to biggest to mimic basket making. Let me just tell you we stayed here for a long time.

This is just one of many awesome exhibits in the children's area and the best part is that they were all hands on. It doesn't always make sense when we just read about stuff in books. But if Savannah goes and learns by seeing and doing she will memorize every detail. We could have spent so much more time here.

The last pic if from a dinosaur nest that had eggs in it. I think she has finally figured out just how big the dinos were!

Outside The Field

Day 2 in Chicago began with Savannah's first city bus ride to The Field Museum. I must say that Savannah is a big fan of public transportation for one liberating reason. No car seats. She would love for us to move to a large city for that reason alone. Add to it a huge variety of great food, fun parks, and museums and my little worm loving, dirt digging, overall wearing daughter could easily become a city girl.

We did not see the pirate museum advertised here on the front of the museum. I would have loved to see it but Savannah is deathly afraid of pirates. I don't know why, she hasn't seen any of the pirate movies that are out and she's not afraid of anything else! When we went to Disney World she refused to go on the pirate ride but loved the Haunted Mansion and still talks about how it is her favorite. Go figure. I'd take Jack Sparrow over ghosts any day.

Here is a replica of the famous complete fossil, Sue found inside the museum. Standing beside it's foot, Savannah could not believe how big it's toe bones were.

We spotted the CNA building below. While I was growing up, my mom worked for them and went to Chicago a couple of times every year. Mom, is this the building you went to?

We got to the museum before it opened and played around a bit outside. Although you can tell it was a grey day, the weather was perfect. But now it is time to go into the museum via the really cool doors from the 1800's. There's always fun stuff behind interesting old doors.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Once Sears tower was in site we knew we had arrived. Savannah couldn't wait to ride the L (their train system/subway that is mostly above ground. Actually, it's elevated above the city streets.), a taxi, and the city bus.

I believe the hotel we stayed in was The Congress Hotel which I would highly recommend. The rate was VERY reasonable and as you can see we had an awesome view of Lake Michigan and the infamous Buckingham Fountain. The location was also ideal for the sites we planned to see.

The room itself was good size as well. I was expecting more of the closet size room like Mark and I stayed in in New York last spring.

After checking in we jumped on the L and headed out for dinner. We passed our stop on purpose just so Savannah could ride it a little longer. After being on a train the past 2 days, she still couldn't get enough! Of course being on thier public transportation train system was a completly different experience with a whole new landscape to view.

By the time we arrived at our dinner location, I could tell the lack of sleep was getting to Savannah. Our next stop was Sears tower and once we reached the stop she proclaimed she was ready to go back to the hotel and go to bed! It was not even 7PM yet. Poor kid.

None the less I grabbed a few photos from the top of the tower.

This is another view from our hotel room as the sun was setting. Savannah and I were in the bed by 7:45 to rest up for our next big day.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Better Late Than Never!

I have been meaning to post pictures from our train trip to Chicago for a couple of months now. Just about every kid I know loves trains and many of my friends are considering train trips. I hope these pics intice you to try an overnight train trip. Although the whistle wakes you up periodically, few things are more exciting for a child than sleeping and eating on a train.

Waiting with much anticipation at our local train station!

All aboard. I must comment on the hospitality. The conductor met us outside the train with a big greeting already knowing our names and who we were meeting up with on the train. Now that's service!

Once on board our attendant introduced herself and was equally accomadating and friendly.

Our compartment. The couch on the left made out into a full size bed and then there was a bunk that came down on top of that. Around the corner from Savannah, over by my dad was the bathroom (not shone).

Passing through St Louis.

Eve and Savannah listening to the Ipod.

We saw geese, hidden ponds, farmlands, and many adorable small towns along the way.

So we got on the train in the evening, slept, woke up, got dressed, ate breakfast in the dining car with more friendly service (the food is actually pretty good!), explored the train, played some games, Savannah napped, I read, ate lunch, and stop Chicago! Time flew! Not a bad way to travel at all!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dance Camp Rocks the House

It is no secret that I enjoy the fact that Savannah chose dance over any other sport or art she could take up (let me count the perks: air conditioning, cute outfits, no weekly games, 2 performances a year, fun hair excesseries...need I go on?). But, I find the greatest pleasure in watching her do something she enjoys more than anything else in the world.

She works hard to get her moves down just right. As I watch her I can see how much she loves the whole process from practice to stage. At first I thought she was just being a "little Mark" and that she just wanted to get on stage. But after her spring recital I realized it is important to her to perform well not just act like a ham for laughs! She really wanted to do well. It was neat to see something become important to her.

I'm not sure what this move is called. Karate Kid, maybe? Whatever it is, it looks like she is enjoying it!



Boogie woogie

The end.